Instead of being angry, Clarksville family pays it forward after boy’s wallet stolen

Jacob Griner (Photo: WKRN)

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Clarksville mother Leslie Griner wrote an open letter in a local paper about what happened to her son.

“This is to the person who stole my son’s wallet yesterday at Kenwood High School,” she said as she read the letter to News 2 on Tuesday.

Her son, 9th grader Jacob Griner, said he set his backpack down in the bleachers during gym class.

It was during that time that Jacob says someone stole his wallet out of his bag. Inside, he had hundreds of dollars in gift cards he had been collecting to donate to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, a program that gives Christmas gifts to families in need.

Jacob Griner
Jacob Griner

His mother filed a police report.

Jacob’s debit card and his late father’s military ID were also in the wallet, but he told News 2 he isn’t holding a grudge.

“I don’t feel like hating someone is the right answer. If you hate someone, it just leads to a path of destruction of mind, soul, and body. But if you just pray for them, it just feels better,” he said.

Mrs. Griner was so moved by her son’s response that she decided to match the money he had been saving.

Jacob Griner
Jacob Griner

“My cabinets are multi colored. I had been putting money away to pay to get them painted, and I can do without that,” she explained.

The two took the money and decided to do good deeds.

They paid for people’s layaway at a Fort Campbell store; they left a waitress a $100 tip at the Cracker Barrel; and they worked with a movie theater manager to purchase popcorn for a group of people watching a movie.

Jacob invited his friends to participate in the effort, and on Tuesday, they were bagging 300 homemade sugar cookies that they will deliver to mall employees on Christmas Eve.

“My son will still find a way to give his gifts of love,” his mother told News 2.